How the IWR came into being:
It started one afternoon, sometime while drinking coffee during exam preparations in 1980. Whether beer also played a role is not handed down, but the result suggests it did. The spirit was hollowed out, and there was some joking around: why shouldn’t theoretical flights of fancy be complemented by practical hand skills? The idea of the waterbike regatta saw the light of day and was to be put into practice for the first time in the same year.
Four teams appeared thereupon in the autumn 1980 on the hunt for trophies on the Maschsee in Hannover: A team of the Kiel University of Applied Sciences, led by his Excellency Cornelius Martinen, a team of the HFL Berlin and two teams of the “Latte” from Hannover. The Kiel team traveled with a highly innovative, vertical pivoting wing that was treaded underfoot. The Berlin “Latte” had added a paddlewheel to a disused rowing boat. The “Latte” from Hannover competed once with empty plastic containers with attached tandem-better paddlewheel and secondly with two connected surfboards with mounted bicycle frame and a brass propeller driven by chain. Se. Herrlichkeit opened the spectacle before a very limited and incredulously astonished audience. Nevertheless, this event was reported in the “Hannoversche Allgemeine”.
In a breathtaking speed the boats went through the short distance sprint. Because of their technical advantage, the team from Kiel were far ahead. The “Schaumschläger” on canisters came in second, and the Surfboards with their much too short gear ratio came in third. The Berliners brought up the rear, with the chain constantly coming off the sprocket, causing a Berliner to cut off the tip of his thumb during the repair work.
The Berliners made good on their threat and hosted the next race in their waters. On the Landwehr Canal, boats from Aachen, Hannover, Kiel and Berlin swam or didn’t.
(50 Years Order of the Heylige Frawe Latte zu Hannover/ad Hammaburg/ Peter Kayer, Niels Lange)